My Friend, Casey – How the Foundation Has Honored Her Love of Animals

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Casey & Nikki, 2008

Casey & Nikki, 2008

Casey's brother Brett & his friends painting - Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, 2010

Casey’s brother Brett & his friends painting – Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, 2010

Casey's friends insulating the attic at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, 2011

Casey’s friends insulating the attic at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, 2011

A stroke victim at Magee working on his motor skills as he brushes Joey's teeth

A stroke victim at Magee working on his motor skills as he brushes Joey’s teeth, 2014

Jenna Schein (R) helping an injured screech owl at Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary

Jenna Schein (R) helping an injured screech owl at Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary, 2014

By Rachael Kemmey*

On the day of Casey’s fifth “angelversary,” a friend said to me, “I can’t believe it’s already been five years, can you?” My answer, although contradictory, was both yes and no. Yes, it is unfathomable that one thousand nine hundred and seventy-seven days have passed since the last time I saw my friend. How have five years already come and gone without her here? Yet, at the same time, it feels like a lifetime since I’ve seen Casey. Every day without her feels long. I was at a loss trying to explain how time could move both fast and slow; perhaps, there is no way to understand this feeling, unless you were blessed with knowing Casey.

Five is also the number of years that Casey’s family and friends have been working to make a difference through The Casey Feldman Foundation. The Foundation honors Casey’s life and memory by keeping Casey’s passion for helping others alive and by supporting many causes that were near and dear to Casey’s heart. One of those is her unconditional love for animals.

Growing up, Casey had numerous pets; everything from chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and horses, to fish, lizards, hermit crabs and turtles. Of course, there were also dogs and cats. The Feldman family always had one dog and usually four cats at a time, all rescues. Casey was a proud member of PETA, among various other organizations, and was a strong advocate for adoption of strays. While studying at Fordham University in New York City, Casey volunteered at Animal Haven, a no-kill shelter. Casey walked the dogs and simply spent time with them as well as with the cats, assisting in their socialization and making them feel comfortable and loved.

It is gratifying to look back over the last five years and see how The Casey Feldman Foundation, among its multitude of endeavors, has also sought to honor Casey’s love of animals.

Every year on Casey’s “angelversary,” the Foundation conducts a day of service; every day of service over the last five years has incorporated animals. On the first “angelversary,” approximately forty volunteers worked at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, a no-kill shelter located in Radnor, Pennsylvania. The entire interior of the shelter was painted in the course of a day. The following year, volunteers returned to Francisvale and worked on building a new outdoor play area for the dogs, cleaning up the grounds and insulating the attic. The last three “angelversaries” were spent at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the Foundation established the first Facility Dog Program in 2012. Joey, a Labrador Retriever and Ford, a Golden Retriever were sponsored by the Foundation. Ford and Joey are specially trained health and human services “professionals” who support patients in their therapy and facilitate the rehabilitation process (watch the TV news video below).

In addition to incorporating animals into the annual day of service, the Foundation also directly supports local shelters through grants. Most recently, the Foundation sponsored the Casey Feldman Foundation Spay and Neuter Day at Main Line Animal Rescue (MLAR). As a result, five animals were neutered, a procedure which drastically cuts down on the number of animals euthanized in the United States each year. In addition, the Foundation also sponsored Helga at MLAR, a German Shepard who had spent the previous 5 years of her life in a hutch at a puppy mill and was in desperate need of medical care; she was a “spinner” as a result of her confinement and had tried to rip off her own tail. The Foundation’s grant saved Helga’s life. In order to help MLAR with their training program, the Foundation also donated funds for the “Casey Cam.” Since its installation, the camera has provided trainers with an opportunity to track each animal’s progress.

Spay/Neuter Day at MLAR

Dr. Meg Anderson (R) and her assistant, Spay/Neuter Day at MLAR, 2014

In addition, various scholarship programs that the Foundation has funded have benefited animals. Our 2012 PIIE recipient, Dylan Mark, interned for the summer at the Boulder Valley Humane Society. Computer science major Lauren McDermott from Villanova University received a stipend to provide much needed IT services to Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, revamping and updating their website in 2011. Our Alternative Spring Break program has also impacted animals – Erica Durbin spent her spring break volunteering at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in 2011 and this past spring,  Jennah Schein volunteered her week off working at  Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in NC. Of course, all the various Alternative Spring Break scholarship recipients who spent their week working in some form of environmental conservation all had a positive impact on wildlife.

In the upcoming years, the Foundation looks forward to continuing to honor Casey’s love of animals through supporting existing programs  and establishing new ones.

Please help us to continue our good work and donate to the Casey Feldman Foundation. All of our furry friends out there will be deeply indebted for your your support.

Watch the CBS Philadelphia news video about the Foundation’s sponsorship of Magee’s first facility therapy dog, Ford, 2012:

View the video from the 2013 Day of Service:

Related Links:

All Foundation news articles related to our efforts to honor Casey’s love of animals – includes photos, videos, media coverage, links, etc.

All photos from the annual July 17th “Angelversary” Day of Service, 2010 – 2014

A listing of all scholarships and grants from 2010 – 2014,  with links,

All Foundation articles regarding scholarships, grants and recipients

 

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Rachael (R) & Casey

Rachael (R) & Casey

*Rachael Kemmey grew up with Casey in Springfield, PA and remained one of Casey’s best friends. Rachael is currently an attorney practicing in Delaware County, PA.

Casey Feldman Foundation Sponsors Spay/Neuter Day & More at Animal Shelter

Friday, June 6th, 2014

By Dianne L. Anderson

Casey had a kind heart, and that kind heart extended not just to humans, but to animals as well.  Among its many endeavors, the Casey Feldman Foundation has sought to honor Casey’s love for  animals in numerous ways. The most recent is a grant to Main Line Animal Rescue (MLAR), through which  a Casey Feldman Foundation Spay/Neuter Day  has been scheduled for this Wednesday, June 11, 2014. As a result of this grant, four to five animals will be spayed and neutered.

Funds from this grant have also supported, Helga, a dog in need of medical care and will establish the “Casey Cam”, a camera installed in the training room to facilitate training classes and further volunteer education of animal training. Casey’s long time friend from Springfield, PA, Rachael Kemmey, who volunteers her time with the Foundation, organized this event and the distribution of funds with MLAR.

Casey's friend, Rachael Kemmey, greets some of the many animals at MLAR in Jan. while touring the facility with Casey's parents

Why spay and neuter? Each day 10,000 humans are born in the U.S. – and each day 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. Nationwide, more than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters annually (The Humane Society of the United States).  This sad and enormous number is as a result of un-spayed and un-neutered animals. One un-spayed female dog and one un-neutered male dog and their offspring can produce 4,372 puppies in 7 years. For cats it is even worse. One un-spayed female cat and one un-neutered male cat and their offspring results in 420,000 kittens in 7 years.

Helga - beautiful, but not happy wearing a cone!

Often, these animals arrive at MLAR and other shelters in need of medical care that goes beyond the basic and routine. Helga is just one of those animals.

A 5 year old German Sheppard who was rescued from a puppy mill, Helga had spent the previous 5 years in a rabbit hutch. She tried to rip off her own tail, which unfortunately had to be removed by the veterinary staff at MLAR. Helga was a spinner, commonly seen in dogs from puppy mills who have been confined in hutches; they spin for stimulation and to self soothe. Because Helga continued to spin after her surgery, trying to get to her absent tail, she was kept in a cone for an extended period of time. Helga was treated with several medications and has worked with a dedicated volunteer to help her gain the confidence needed to overcome her issues. After spending many weeks in the clinic under the watchful eyes of the MLAR medical staff, Helga is now in the main kennel and doing very well. It is not surprising that Helga enjoys exercise, something that was absent in the first 5 years of her life.

A limited number of supporters of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation who are animal lovers are invited to attend the event on Wednesday. The schedule is as follows:

Agenda for June 11:

Helga after her surgery

10:00 am – Representatives from the Casey Feldman Foundation arrive at the medical clinic

10:00am – 12:00pm

 Dr. Meg and Megan Anderson (Director of Animal Welfare and Enrichment) will introduce the animals before they go into surgery and share their stories.

 Clinic staff will share additional stories about the other animals currently in the clinic.

 Photos as appropriate

 Bring Helga down from the kennel for a visit.

 12:00pm – lunch will be provided in the development conference room

Spaces are limited. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by Monday, June 8, 2014 by sending an email to [email protected]

3 of the 4 of Casey's and the Feldman's rescued cats

Please consider making a donation to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation so that we may continue our good work in Casey’s memory.

One of the cat lounges at MLAR

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

July 17th Day of Service Scheduled to Honor Casey Feldman’s Memory

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Casey and Nikki - Oct. 2008, Ridley Creek State Park

July 17th this year will be spent doing service work to honor Casey’s memory on this first anniversary of her death.

Casey and her dad with Annie, Fall of 2000

The first service project lined up is at  Francisvale Home For Smaller Animals, a no-kill shelter in Radnor, Pa. which has been operating for over 100 years. Volunteers will work from mid morning to mid afternoon painting the interior of their small building. The day will conclude later in the evening for food and fellowship at the Feldman home. Other projects are being lined up in additional areas for those who are not local to the Philadelphia area.

Casey was an animal lover, having everything from chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, lizards, fish, turtles and of course, cats and dogs while growing up. She was a big advocate of adoption and all of the household pets were strays and adoptees in need of a home. The family German Shepards all came from German Shepard Rescue of Southeastern Pa, which included a beautiful tribute to Casey in their Summer 2009 Newsletter. While at college at Fordham University, Casey would get her “animal fix” and need to give back by volunteering at Animal Haven, a no-kill shelter in NYC. The first puppy that came into the shelter after Casey’s death was named “Casey” in her memory.

Consider joining us on July 17th. View the July 17th event on the Network site at CaseyFeldmanNetwork.org and RSVP. If you are not a member of that site, consider joining. You need not have known Casey personally to become a member. Otherwise, RSVP here in the comment section below or consider your own way of honoring Casey’s memory on July 17th.

Casey’s family, friends, loved ones and those touched by her story look forward to a wonderful day of service to remember Casey.

Casey's friends Brooke Burdge and Kelsey Butler at Animal Haven with the puppy given the honorary name of Casey

Three of Casey's four family kitties. Cindy (top), Sandy and Blizzard.

Casey and her cousin Chris' Rottweiler, Sasha - Sept. 2007

Scholarship Recipient Brooke Burdge Recognized as Featured Volunteer at Animal Haven in NYC

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Casey Feldman Network site administrator, Brooke Burdge is the “Featured Volunteer” this month at Animal Haven in NYC. As many of you know, Casey and Brooke were friends and used to volunteer together at Animal Haven, taking the dogs out for much needed walks and giving love to all of the pets sheltered there, including the kitties. Despite
a hectic schedule between her studies, internship, working as a waitress and administering the Network site (CaseyFeldmanNetwork.org), Brooke has continued to make the time to volunteer with the animals. The photo of Brooke selected by the shelter for their feature of Brooke is one of Brooke holding the “Casey puppy”. Shortly after Casey’s death, a spirited black puppy arrived at the shelter and was named Casey, in Casey’s memory. Fortunately, this loving little pup was quickly adopted. Maybe our Casey helped orchestrate that adoption! When told that our Casey was probably smiling on this recent honor bestowed upon Brooke, as featured volunteer, Brooke responded, “She would get a kick out of this. I always wanted to be in that newsletter! Haha!”

Congratulations Brooke! Thanks you for your tieless efforts on behalf of all of the animals that you helped, including those at Animal Haven.

Note: To view the video of Brooke at Animal Haven shelter talking about her experience volunteering there with Casey,  click here and fast forward to 4:51 minutes into the Remembering Casey DVD. Read the previous post on Brooke Burdge’s award of a Foundation scholarship . Give other deserving young people opportunities and contribute to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation .